TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Legislature might be done trying to kill the music.
The Senate killed a bill Friday (SB 634) that would make it a crime for people to play music in their vehicles that can be heard more than 25 feet away. The bill is a response to a Florida Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a previous law restricting loud music.
But a faction of Democrats and libertarian-streaked Republicans complained the effort was big government invading people's lives, and supported an amendment offered by Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, which would have required the noise to extend 100 feet to be a violation.
"Many of our young people, they don't like their music down to where you need a hearing aide to listen to it," Gibson said. "If you go to South Florida and your driving down A1A ... and have music turned up so everyone can appreciate it, you understand why 100 feet gives us a little more safety net for our young people."
Some Republicans also joined the minority-party rebels.
"We're getting to the point where we're intolerant of everything and now we're going to make our annoyances against the law," said Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice. "We're not living with these people blasting their radio; we're only spending about five seconds with them."
The Senate appeared to pass the amendment until Rules Chairman John Thrasher -- who himself supported the amendment, noting the House was blasting Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" across the hall -- pointed out it needed a two-thirds majority to pass on third-reading. The vote was 20-17, so it failed.
Supporters said the free-speech argument made by critics went only so far, with Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, arguing cars with thumping sound systems might incite people to violence and "this is really anti road-rage bill."
But the argument ultimately failed, and the bill went down, 19-19.